Mushtaque Chowdhury

Mushtaque Chowdhury

Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury is the former Vice Chair of BRAC, the largest and among the most celebrated non-governmental organization globally. Previously, he was its Executive Director, founding Director of the Research and Evaluation Division, and founding Dean of the BRAC University James P. Grant School of Public Health. 

Chowdhury is also a Population and Family Health Professor at Columbia University, making him the first Bangladeshi to hold a professorial position in an Ivy League university. He also served as the Senior Advisor and acting Managing Director for the Rockefeller Foundation and as a Research Fellow at Harvard University.

He holds a Ph. D. from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a Master of Science from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s in Statistics from Dhaka University. In 2017, Chowdhury received the prestigious “Medical Award of Excellence” from the Chicago-based Ronald McDonald House Charities and, in 2013, was honored by The Lancet for his contributions to global health.

Chowdhury founded “Bangladesh Education Watch” and “Bangladesh Health Watch,” two civil society watchdog organizations. He also serves on many boards, including as a senior fellow for the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, a senior advisor for the South Asia Centre at the London School of Economics, past president of the Asian Action Alliance for Human Resources in Health, advisor for Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises, and advisory member for Last Mile Health, a Boston-based non-profit that partners with governments worldwide to provide primary healthcare to remote communities.

Chowdhury is widely interested in global development, especially in poverty alleviation, equity, education, population, health & nutrition, women’s empowerment, empowering NGOs, and climate change. He has published nearly 200 journal articles and written two dozen books. In 2018, he and co-author Richard A. Cash received an Outstanding Impact Award from University Press Limited for their book A Simple Solution: Teaching Millions to Treat Diarrhea at Home.

While serving as a visiting scholar at the University of Notre Dame’s Pulte Institute and Eck Institute for Global Health from September 2023 to February 2024, Chowdhury will work to forge links between Notre Dame and Bangladeshi institutions, write policy papers on the function and sustainability of NGOs in the Global South, complete the English version of his BRAC memoir, and promote his latest book, 50 Years of Bangladesh: Advances in Health.